How To Live Your Dreams

I just read a must-read blog post called “How To Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World.”  I’ll wait here while you go read it yourself…..Amazing, right? Jon Morrow is a person who decided to live his dreams and did it, against odds that would stop most people from trying anything. There are so many stories out there along the lines of, “If I can do it, what are you waiting for?” I saw a guy on TV a while back with the slogan, “No arms, no legs, no worries.” He actually has no arms or legs, and he visits schools to encourage kids. Many people live their dream, and it’s not despite/ because of any excuse or special situation. It’s because they decided they could do it. So what are we waiting for?

When I moved out on own my own for college, I had two dreams. Since the fourth grade, I wanted to “be a famous author.” Somewhere around high school I started dreaming about getting married and starting a family, a big family. And, oh boy, I’m living that dream! Now, 14 years since graduation, I have a blended family of 6 kids. As for my writing dreams, I wouldn’t say I’m a famous author, but I’m working toward it every day, I’m writing for a living, and I’m loving it. The part I didn’t understand 14 years ago is that you should love your life at every step, even as you work toward your goals.

That’s why I sometimes stop and ask myself, “Am I living my dream?” I don’t ever want to wake up and realize I stopped evaluating my life and now I’m living something I don’t really want. Part of that question implies, at least for me, “Am I helping people?” It’s hard to be truly happy if you just care about yourself. My small way of giving back is my blog, www.bookpromoting101. I renamed it Book Promoting 501 and I’ve been blogging about tips on book promoting and the publishing industry. I’ve published two nonfiction books, Book Promoting 101 and How To Be A Full Time Writer, and I’m about to publish a third called How To Sell More Kindle eBooks. Writing is my passion, and I’ve learned a lot about making it as a writer, so I hope my knowledge is helping others.

The other part of, “Am I living my dream?” is looking at new dreams. That’s what has been on my mind for a while, and it popped up again when I read Jon Morrow’s blog post. I’ve actually done quite a bit of traveling, and moving across the country at one point, but I have a dream of traveling more, enjoying it more, and taking the kids more. I read about families that take to the road for a year to see the U.S. with their kids, or even sail around the world. There’s books and blogs about how you can stop renting or sell your home, put your stuff in storage, and use your rent or mortgage money to finance your travels. That inspires me to get creative and look at ways to take more trips with my kids, even if we don’t travel the entire U.S. or world right away.Still, I want to take them on one of those trips they’ll remember all their lives.

You would think this dream isn’t that hard to achieve, but I’ve been making all kinds of excuses. I have a job I can do from anywhere, and I set my own hours, but I have kids, and they have school and sports. Well, other families have done year long trips with kids. Then there’s the money issues. But deep down, I know if I want a dream, it just takes planning and work.  I think I’ve been on the cliff, thinking about jumping. I’m not committed to any big or specific goal for a family vacation yet, but I’m researching and I’ve taken little steps. We’ve always gone on short trips around Oregon and some into California, and we have some more planned that branch out a little more. So maybe I’m even wading into the waters.  I just have to remember that reaching dreams means taking steps.

So what about you? Do you feel you have dreams that you’re working toward? Are you researching, planning and dreaming? Are you pausing in life and wondering what you really want?